2661 Tasting Notes
So, this morning I decided I was bored with the work tea stash, but didn’t have a lot of time to pick things out. However, I remembered that Sil had sent me some black teas, so I grabbed a handful of things and left! This was the result :)
I brewed this up not having the faintest idea what to expect. It looked like orange pieces in the tea, but I wasn’t all that sure. I didn’t manage to drink the tea hot (had more important things to do in other buildings), so it sat cooling on my desk for about six hours, and I’m just getting to it now.
I am having a very difficult time describing the flavour/aroma here. After reading the description, I can taste cinnamon and perhaps some citrus and vanilla as well, although they are very muted. It tastes much like Red Rose, but with some flavouring making it tasty enough to drink straight. I’m not sure what I would have thought about it if I hadn’t known what was in it though – I think “flavoured black”, perhaps with some spices, would have been the farthest I got. I’m just not good at articulating what I can taste!
Either way, it’s not bad (I drank it rather quickly just now), and not astringent/bitter, so I’d definitely drink it again. Not a tea I’d pick up for myself though – this combo of flavours is done better by DT in Glitter & Gold, IMO.
Thanks for this one, Sil!
I’ve definitely been in the mood for darker oolongs lately, and apparently had yet to try this one! Apricot flavours? Sure, why not! I’m not sure that drinking this one after Sweet Leaf from Sheng is the best idea, but hopefully it won’t interfere too much. Thanks to David Duckler for including a sample of this one in one of my Verdant orders!
I used about 2-3g of leaf and as I couldn’t find brewing parameters anywhere, used about 8-10oz. of water for the first infusion, and 8 for the second.
First infusion (205F/30s): The flavour here is light, but acceptably so. A bit woody, but slightly sweet and fruity, I can see where apricot notes could have been picked up, although I’m not specifically tasting apricot. No, actually, I think I can taste apricot. Delicious! This infusion is definitely lighter on the woodsy taste than other dark oolongs I’ve tried, and it lacks the burny/toasty flavours as well (not a bad thing!)
Second infusion (202F/1min): Ok, this was too long, and I should have known better. Surprisingly, the tea actually isn’t too bad, but it’s definitely oversteeped, and turning bitter, with just a touch of astringency. Unfortunately, the bitterness kind of takes over here and all I’m really picking up is a peppery flavour (that seems to be how the bitterness is coming across to me). Probably would have done better with 45s.
Hopefully more infusions to come! I wish I hadn’t wrecked the second infusion; I suspect it could have been pretty good :( At least I have a cup’s worth of leaf left to try things out again!
Thanks for sending me a bit of this to try, Azzrian!
Had this not been labelled, I definitely would have assumed it was an oolong, by the appearance of the rolled up leaves. I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the smell of the leaves while this tea was steeping. It was a very vegetal, somewhat familiar aroma, and it just didn’t appeal to me. It almost smelled… fridgey? You know, that sat-too-long kind of smell? Luckily, the tea doesn’t have that same aroma, and smells more like Nestea’s green tea with lemon, or something like that.
…. oh my. This is crazy sweet. It seems I should have used about half the leaf I did! This is quite good though, but honestly WAYYYYY too sweet for me at its current level. I used the whole baggie of tea that I received (I didn’t measure it, but maybe 1-2 tsp) in a large-ish mug, and it’s very, very sweet. Almost… like golden raisins… why am I getting that association?? I’m getting a bit of that fridgey taste, but I have a feeling it’s just something in the leaves that’s causing it, not an age thing.
The flavour definitely reminds me of when I’m plumping up raisins for oatmeal raisin cookies, so raisins in water in a bowl in the microwave, making lovely raisin water that I drain out.
Anyways, I don’t think this is a tea I’d drink as tea… however I noticed that the recommendation was to add a bit to other teas to sweeten them, and I think that’s a great idea that I’ll have to try sometime… because I think I spotted an extra baggie of this in my box from Azzrian so I do have some left (that must have been an oops?? :P)
Thanks for a sample of this one, Azzrian! I’m always up for trying new, interesting things! :D
Last tea of the evening! I gotta admit, it was tough not to eat the big dried apple chunks out of the bag. I was hungry, and they looked tasty… but I was strong! Haha :)
This tea smells interestingly melony and fruity, when brewed up. Kind of reminds me of Luscious Watermelon. The flavour though, is difficult to place. Kind of melony… kind of fruity… kind of weak… Definitely can’t taste any white tea here (no surprise, I barely saw any in my bag). I’m getting a bit of a lemony/citrusy twist to this tea as well. Overall… it’s not bad, but it’s really nothing special, I don’t think. Maybe I’ll try the rest iced and a bit stronger.
ETA: I finished off the rest of my cup today, and liked it a bit better as a fruity, melony drink. The re-steep, in less water and for 5+ minutes, also wasn’t too bad. Not a keeper, though.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting with this tea! Something good, for sure, but it occurred to me that I hadn’t really put much thought into what I’d expect a “toasted marshmallow” tea to taste like. Other than, delicious, sweet, burny, toasty marshmallow, of course!
Unfortunately though, this is just coming across as a rather sweet chai to me. I can definitely taste the distinct flavour of marshmallow, and beneath it a cohort of light chai spices. Spices don’t = toasted to me, and as the marshmallow flavour is of a raw, untoasted marshmallow, this tea doesn’t hit the mark implied by its name. That said, I’m enjoying it as a light chai, it just probably wouldn’t be a tea I’d go back to again – I’d probably prefer not to have the marshmallows in it and instead sweeten the tea myself if necessary.
ETA: Re-steeped today, in half the water and for who knows how long, and ended up with a watery, disappointing, chai-ish flavoured beverage. I hadn’t been expecting marshmallow, but thought there might be a bit more flavour. Guess this tea’s only really good for one infusion.
Accidently steeped this one too long (although surprisingly it’s not bitter/astringent) and I also think it has sat too long, so I’ll need to review this one properly later. My current impression of it is as a delicately floral, rose-watery tea that’s rather light. Not bad, I can handle floral at this level. Can’t really taste much apple though. Highly unlikely to become a favourite.
I admit… I’m probably one of the few people in this world who isn’t obsessed with red velvet cake. In fact… I actually don’t know what it is, nor what the big deal is. I seem to recall my sister going all crazy about making red velvet cupcakes or something…
Anyways, cake tea! I liked the other cake teas, so why not try this one too!
The dry tea smells sickeningly sweet, like the other cake teas. No surprise there! I like sickeningly sweet sometimes though, so am not particularly concerned. I did note that I don’t seem to have white chocolate bits in my tea like in the picture… just red and white sprinkles and brown chocolate pieces.
Gross… this is another one that would probably have best been drank hot, as there’s a lot of scum around the edge of my cup, likely from the sprinkles. I’m really not a fan of sprinkles in my tea, to be honest. Actually, I don’t like sprinkles at all.
The aroma remains sickeningly sweet once brewed, but surprisingly, I’m not really getting that level of sweetness in the tea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely somewhat sweet, and I can pick up chocolate and a kind of cakey flavour, but that’s about it. Wow. This one’s very “meh” for me. The aroma was making me liken it to Birthday Cake, and then the kick of chocolate to Chocolate Cake… but it seems to be a mixture of the aroma of BC plus the chocolate of CC… and not much in between. Perhaps it’s a consequence of going with only a short 4-minute infusion, but I doubt that. On the plus side, no astringency or bitterness, but the tradeoff may be flavour. Oh well! Glad I only picked up a bit of this one.
Backlog from earlier today. I remember disliking this one the first time I brewed it up as it was so strongly hibiscusy and floral. So, decided to drop the infusion time to 3 minutes and use about 1.5 tsp of leaf for my slightly oversized mug… and success!! I can’t remember exactly how it tasted, but it was not too tart, nor too floral; instead, the flavour actually resembled the aroma of the dry tea, which I definitely did like! So I’ll give this one a little ratings bump. Still not a tea I’d pick up again, but not as bad as I had thought, it just requires some attention paid to the hibiscus!
Ok, so I was pretty skeptical of this tea. Mostly because bleh, hibiscus. But hey, it’s supposed to be Strawberry Rhubarb, so the tartness should be appropriate, and I like teas with the creaminess of yogurt, so all hope is not lost!
The dry tea smells, to me, exactly like a strawberry Campino candy! Delicious delicious DELICIOUS! I’m so excited! Although guaranteed it won’t taste quite like that since there is hibiscus, but if the strawberry and yogurt come through…!
Steeped, it smells a bit more like realistic strawberries and some tartness, but as it’s cold, there’s not a ton of aroma.
I was very conservative with the infusion time so as not to end up with a mouthful of blechy hibiscus (it worked earlier today for me – I had quite a lovely cup of Paradise Found, which I apparently neglected to log)… and I think I was successful! There are lots of little yogurty floaties, a consequence of the tea cooling, but I can deal with that. I am quite shocked at how well the hibiscus works here though! The tartness pairs perfectly with the very much realistic strawberry flavour, and with the creaminess, I can actually imagine myself to be eating, say, plain yogurt with a lightly sweetened topping of strawberries/rhubarb! Delicious! I imagine that this tea would be absolutely glorious sweetened, but I shan’t ruin it for myself by doing that.
Add another to the potential re-buy list… this one’s pretty good!
ETA: I’m impressed! I re-steeped this one in half the water, and paid no real attention to infusion time, and actually got quite a nice second cup! Surprising because of both the hibiscus and the fact that it’s a herbal! Again, it was a tart drink, but fresh strawberry tart, not hibiscus tart. Not as creamy, of course, but I’d make the effort to use these leaves a second time. Also, I’m kind of sad that pretty much all the new teas were misses for me, or at least, not teas that I’ll miss when the season’s out. Luckily, this one’s the TOTM and I think therefore staying on as permanent, which is awesome!